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Dr. Alex Tatevian has maintained a monthly acupuncture column in the health section of the Federal Hill Gazette since 1999.      
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  Federall Hill Gazette; November 2003

What does "organic" food mean?

   The organic food industry becomes increasingly popular and mainstream.
   Consumers seeking the safety and purity of organic foods now can buy with confidence, thanks to strict new federal regulations governing which foods can carry an "organic" label.
    Since October 21, 2002 product cannot lawfully be labeled "organic", unless the farm has been inspected by an agency authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the product meets precise standards. The USDA now owns the word “organic”. Inspectors granting organic certification will have checked everything from the soil history and where the seeds were sourced, to the makeup of the compost and how it was managed. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to control pests and enhance production by encouraging nature's own processes.
   The hefty documentation required to achieve organic certification has proven a burden for some small- and medium-sized farmers who long have been committed to observing the environmentally sustainable organic practices. Notwithstanding the burden, only farmers selling less than $5,000 in product per year will be able to call their products "organic" without official certification under the new rules.
   Some farmers may choose not to seek organic certification. In all likelihood, alternative designations like "natural" or "organic-style" will be used.
   These rules give consumers confidence that a product called 'organic' has been certified by the USDA” so please read the labels.
   We welcome all questions that you may have.
   You can ask your questions on-line at www.DoctorGetWell.org or email them to getwell@doctor.com or send them to:
   Alex Tatevian, DA
    ACU WELL Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
    141 Airport Road, Warwick, RI 02889
    Phone (401) 738-9355
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